Local author Richard Platz will be reading from Bristlecone, his most recent novel, and signing copies of his books at the Blue Lake Branch of the Humboldt County Library, Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m. The library is located in the Blue Lake City Hall building at 111 Greenwood Rd. in Blue Lake. In describing his novel, Platz wrote “For over 40 years I’ve lived and worked in Blue Lake, Calif., near the western terminus of Highway 299. But ever since I first gazed down from the crest of the South Warner Wilderness on a backpacking trip and beheld the Surprise Valley, my secret fascination has been with the eastern end of that lonely highway. The vision has churned inside my mind for a quarter century, but now has been released.
“My most recent novel, titled Bristlecone, is set in this fragile narrow sliver of land caught between the snow-capped Warners and the jackrabbit and greasewood wasteland of Nevada’s basin and range. It asks the question: What if your freedom to travel were taken away?
“After the death of his wife, Tildie, weary old dirt farmer Shadrack Smithers feels the need to take a road trip beyond the boundaries of his Surprise Valley farm. He wants to return to the Ozarks, where he and Tildie had begun their family. Elan Groves, Shadrack’s neighbor, wants to go along for the ride, and so does his teenage daughter Katie. Problem is, none of them have got a travel permit, and times have gotten weird. Government is fragmenting. Civil order is breaking down. Not until Shadrack makes it to his destination, do we learn the true purpose of his journey. Along the way, encounters with an overworked policeman and a rejuvenated preacher turn everything upside down. This is the story of Shadrack’s quest for solace on a circular journey for redemption, and his deepening involvement with the salvation of his home community.”
Platz maintained a solo law practice in Humboldt County for over 35 years. He served as city attorney for the City of Blue Lake for 32 of those years before retiring here in 2009. In addition to Bristlecone, the author has written the novels Appointment At Angahuan (with James A. Kline), Of Magic and Delusion, and Project Divine Wind. He has also written three books of short stories titled Memories and other Fictions, Dreamtime, and Vanishing Point.
Fourth of July Book Sale
Humboldt Branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom announces its annual Fourth of July Book sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. near 10th and H streets (across from Bubbles) in Arcata. Good quality books of all genres will be available. The sale benefits the Edilith Eckart Peace Scholarship. Recent recipients have included El Centro Del Pueblo, AHHA, Star Quest Camp, Arcata House Partnership, Humboldt Mediation among others. Call (707) 822-5711 for more information or to donate books for the sale.